After the death of Memnon, his companions, who indulged in excessive wailing at his death, were changed by the gods into birds, called Memnonides, and some of them died of grief.1 According to Ovid,2 Memnon's mother Eos implored Zeus to confer an honor on her son, to console her for his loss. He accordingly caused a number of birds, divided into two swarms, to fight in the air over the funeral sacrifice until a portion of them fell down upon the ashes of the hero, and thus formed a funeral sacrifice for him.

According to a story current on the Hellespont, the Memnonides every year visited the tomb of Memnon, cleared the ground round about, and moistened it with their wings, which they wetted in the waters of the river Aesepus.3



  1. Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 755.
  2. Metamorphoses xiii, 576 ff.
  3. Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 31.2; comp. Pliny the Elder. Naturalis Historia xxxvi, 7.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.